Friday Candle Lighting: 6:50pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:39 pm
Vayakhel: From the Mundane to the Sublime
“…and the seventh day shall be holy to you…” (35:2)
Rashi: “The Torah places the exhortation of Shabbat before the commanding of the labors of the Mishkan.”
The list of skilled labors necessary for the construction of the Mishkan and the observance of Shabbat appear both in this week’s Parsha and in last week’s Torah portion. But with an interesting difference: In last week’s parsha the skilled labors of the Mishkan precede the observance of Shabbat, whereas in this week’s parsha the order is reversed.
The Golden Calf was a defining moment in Jewish history. Before the Golden Calf, even mundane labor was suffused with holiness so that those labors could act as preparations to the holiness of Shabbat. After the Golden Calf, however, those labors lost their innate holiness and became worldly and non-spiritual. Thus, in this week’s parsha Shabbat is mentioned first because through Shabbat the potential still exists to raise mundane labor to the level of the Mishkan, the level of the sublime.